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Video success #1: Viral loops

In our first instalment of the Launchpad6 Video Success Series, we discuss Viral loops.

We all remember the “Charlie Bit My Finger” video. Entertaining right? This video has generated over 830 million views since it was uploaded in 2007. I remember the first time I saw this video. It was shared to me by a close friend of mine. I laughed my $%#’s off. So I shared it with my friends, who shared it with their friends, which then shared it with their friends… and so on it went.

This is called creating a viral loop.

Viral loops involve are a repetitive process where a single user receives an invitation to try or view something – in this case a video. This user then sends it on to another user, which the other user then forwards it on to another. This phenomenon creates an exponential increase in the number people that try or view the content. In order to create a viral loop, it is important that the invitee is immediately engaged or compelled to view or try the product. Videos achieve this like none other. Over 80% of internet users watch video online and videos are 12 times more likely to be shared than links and text combined . Video engages audiences unlike any other medium. Just ask Charlie;)

So how can businesses capitalise on viral loops and come up with such original content?

There are two ways;

1. Create entertaining content that people feel compelled to share, or motivate people to want to share content. So how do I achieve both? Well you could spend big dollars coming up with creative and entertaining ideas, professionally capture this and then promote it like hell hoping that it will get hitched on the train to viral success…..

2. Another way is to crowd-source your content and then motivate the crowd to share it with their friends. This is exactly what video contests aim to do. So what is a video contest I hear you ask? Well, a video contest is typically an online campaign where the audience are either invited to submit and/or vote on their favourite videos in order to win some kind of prize. But how do I run a video contest and what techniques do I need to use to make them a success? Well, before answering that question you need to consider what success looks like.

What are you are trying to achieve through your contest?

Some organisations will use video contests to create brand awareness, others use it to crowd-source content for re-purposing or use it to source brilliant ideas and innovation. Whatever your goal, success may look different in each case.

The key to success in using contests to create brand awareness and product promotion is that you need to get as many of the “right” people as possible to engage with your content. Viral loops are essential to this. The right engagement doesn’t mean just viewing, sharing, voting and commenting on the content, but also ensuring it is viewed by your target audience.

Where ‘re-purposing’ and ‘idea generation is a vital goal then the most important success factor is getting as much quality and innovative content uploaded as possible. Good luck!

In the next instalment in the Launchpad6 Video Success series, we’ll dive into the core concept for a remarkable contest.

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